Form follows function. Function follows form. Which is it?

Without delving into post-modern design principles, here are a few tips on selecting wood types for your project. 

Aesthetics

When you are considering a piece of wood furniture, wood type matters. Your selection should be based on what other types of wood exist in your project or the room your furniture will be in. Its good to match other types of woods or finishes in the room, or complement them. Having too many wood types in one space can take away from the aesthetic of the room. Matching the wood tones of various types of wood is beyond my sawdust-based expertise, but a great start can be found here.

Don't make a decision on the wood type based on looks only. Know some of the basic properties of the woods to help you decide on how durable, sturdy, waterproof, stainable or expensive your wood needs to be. 

Wood Properties

Hardwood vs Softwood

 

Durabililty & Stability

 

Indoor vs Outdoor

 

Common Wood Types

- Grid with pluses/minuses on wood type

Wood Finishing

Wood can make